Yvonne Hunter is one of 330,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 who will be will be affected by the Government’s proposals to speed up the equalisation of women’s State Pension Age to 65 by 2018.
I am 57 years old, born in May 1954 and was one of the women that were a part of the first group whose pension age was changed from 60. This change was made some years ago, 1995, and I was fully aware and accepted under rights of Equality that the age should be moved towards 65. Therefore for the past 15 years I have been planning to receive my State pension in July 2018, when I would be just over 64 meaning that I had accepted a delay of just over 4 years.
Now the Government’s proposal will push my State Pension Age to 66, which means a further delay of virtually 2 years and a loss in pension of over £11,000 plus further delays in receiving other benefits. Based on a SPA of 64, I have already made irreversible employment and financial decisions. However, women and men who were born after April 1955 were not expecting to receive their pension until age 65, thus they have a maximum of one year to wait for their SPA. Therefore I believe these proposals are unjust to the group of women who had accepted the earlier changes to their pension age without acrimony. At this stage we should not be expected to wait more than one further year to receive our state pension, as no man of a similar age will have had their SPA changed by more than one year.
The Pensions Bill will reach Report Stage in Parliament on the 18th October, this is the last opportunity for the Government to act. We want the Coalition to stick to the existing timetable, but at the very least we are calling on them to:
Mitigate the effects of these changes on the worst affected groups of women, those whose state pension age would rise by eighteen months or more, and put in place transitional arrangements to protect those who do not have sufficient time to plan for a revised Pension Age.
Ensure there is a clear plan of action as to how all those affected the change will be contacted to inform them of the implications.
Yvonne and many women like her have already had their state pension age raised once before and to do so again is deeply unfair.